League of of Legends (LoL) continues to roll out its 2022 esports season, with South Korea’s League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) kicking off on Wednesday (12 January) with its Spring Split.
The LCK continued to be one of the strongest regions last year, with 2020 world champions DAMWON KIA (DWG KIA) taking second place in the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational and the 2021 LoL World Championship.
All four South Korean teams at Worlds also made it past the group stage, with DWG KIA even making ac clean 6-0 sweep of Group A.
Hanwa Life Esports was then eliminated by fellow Korean team T1 in a 3-0 sweep in the quarterfinals. DAMWON KIA (DWG KIA) also notably swept Europe’s MAD Lions 3-0, while Gen.G Esports did the same with North America’s Cloud 9.
Meanwhile South Korean juggernauts T1 and DWG KIA faced each other in what was then considered by many as the “finals before the grand finals,” with DWG KIA outlasting T1 3-2.
However, while DWG KIA seemed to be the strongest team throughout Worlds, they ultimately lost in the Grand Finals against Chinese team EDward Gaming in a 3-2 upset.
Despite South Korea's overall solid showing at Worlds, the biggest teams in the region have made plenty of changes in preparation for Season 2022 in an attempt to take back the Summoner’s Cup for South Korea.
Here are some of the biggest roster changes in the LCK:
DWG KIA have announced at the beginning of the Free Agency last year that Kim ”Khan” Dong-ha is retiring for his mandatory service in the South Korean military.
On the same day, they also announced that Heo “Showmaker” Su, Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu and Cho “BeryL” Gyon-hee have all left to explore their options after the expiry of their contracts but were still in negotiations with the team for the next season.
While Jang “Ghost” Yong-jun also left DWG KIA two weeks later to sign with Nongshim RedForce, the 2020 world champions were successful in their negotiations with Showmaker and Canyon.
DWG KIA filled the gaps from its departing players with new talent from other teams. Noh “Burdol” Tae-yoon from Gen.G and Yoon “Hoya” Yong-ho from Fredit BRION were signed in December to replace Khan in the top lane.
Many have considered the bot lane last year as the Achilles’ Heel of the former world champions.
As a result, DWG KIA signed two players from Nongshim RedForce; Seo “deokdam” Dae-gil as the new AD carry and Kim “Kellin” Hyeong-gyu as the team’s support, to replace BeryL, who left for DRX.
DWG KIA 2022 Roster:
Noh “Burdol” Tae-yoon (top lane)
Yoon “Hoya” Yong-ho (top lane)
Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu (jungler)
Heo “Showmaker” Su (mid lane)
Noh “Burdol” Tae-yoon (bot lane)
Kim “Kellin” Hyeong-gyu (support)
While T1 maintained the core of their roster for the 2022 season they also made some changes at the margins. LoL GOAT Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, Moon “Oner” Hyeon-joon”, Lee “Gumayusi” Min-hyeong, and Ryu “Keria” Min-seok have all retained their roles as mid laner, jungler, bot laner, and support, respectively.
With the departures of Kim “Canna” Chang-dong, veteran Park “Teddy” Jin-seong, and substitute Moon “Cuzz” Woo-chan, T1 moved both Choi “Zeus” Woo-je and Kim “Asper” Tae-gi to the main roster.
T1 2022 Roster
Choi “Zeus” Woo-je (top lane)
Moon “Oner” Hyeon-joon (jungler)
Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok (mid lane)
Lee “Gumayusi” Min-hyeong (bot lane)
Ryu “Keria” Min-seok (support)
Kim “Asper” Tae-gi (substitute)
Gen.G Esports also made some huge changes to their roster, only retaining Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk in the bot lane and letting go of Gwak “Bdd” Bo-seong, Kim “Clid” Tae-min, Kim “Rascal” Kwang-hee, and Kim “Life” Jeong-min.
Gen.G managed to find some big replacements for its departing players, most notably LCK star player Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon in the mid lane.
Clid was replaced by Han “Peanut” Wang-ho, who used to be Gen.G’s jungler in 2018. Choi “Doran” Hyeon-joon and Son “Lehends” Si-woo also joined as the team's top laner and support, respectively.
The team’s former substitute Burdol also moved to DWG KIA and was replaced by Ko “YoungJae” Yeong-jae, who moved up from Gen.G Challengers.
Gen.G 2022 Roster
Choi “Doran” Hyeon-joon (top lane)
Han “Peanut” Wang-ho (jungler)
Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon (mid lane)
Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk (bot lane)
Son “Lehends” Si-woo (support)
Ko “YoungJae” Yeong-jae (substitute)
Here’s the schedule for the 2022 LCK Spring Split:
The 2022 #LCK Spring Split Schedule is here! 🙌
📌 Opening Matchup: Jan. 12th.
- 17:00 [KST] DRX vs. LSB
- 20:00 [KST] T1 vs. KDF
At https://t.co/WwjZbWgOWC (region: KR), you can find the PC wallpaper calendar, and the mobile background for each team's round 1 schedule. pic.twitter.com/3WGoVllK1s
— LCK Global (@LCK_Global) January 3, 2022
The LCK Global broadcast has also expanded and will feature an analyst desk that will have all LCK English casters and some guests, as announced by Wolf "Wolf" Schröder in a tweet on Wednesday (12 January). Wolf, Max “Atlus“ Anderson, Brendan “Valdes“ Valdes, and Maurits “Chronicler” Jan Meeusen will be all rotated to be part of the analyst desk.
Anna is a freelance writer and photographer. She is a gamer who loves RPGs and platformers, and is a League of Legends geek. She's also a food enthusiast who loves a good cup of black coffee.